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Bristol-Myers’ AIDS Medicine Controls Virus in Study

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s experimental HIV drug controlled the virus as well as the company’s older treatment Reyataz in a study that suggests the medicine may help difficult-to-treat patients.

The drug BMS-663068 reduced the AIDS virus to undetectable levels in as many as 80 percent of those who received one of four doses, compared with 75 percent of those who took Reyataz, according to results from a mid-stage trial presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. Both medicines were given in combination with New York-based Bristol’s Sustiva and Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Viread.

The experimental compound is the first in a new class of drugs called attachment inhibitors that stop HIV from binding to the immune system cells it targets. If successful in the next phase of clinical trials, the medicine may provide an option for patients who fail treatment with initial therapies such as Gilead’s Atripla.

“The data suggest that BMS-663068 is potentially as effective as one of the current standards of care and may provide another method of suppressing the virus in treatment-experienced patients who have failed a prior HIV regimen and need new treatment options,” Jacob Lalezari, a professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, said in a statement.

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